Release management is a tool used by all software engineering organisations, regardless of size, across all industries. However, SDLC and release management are no longer the stressful jobs they once were for software engineers.
With the relentless rise of DevOps release management strategies and technologies, companies have begun to profit from novel approaches. The platform centres on enhancing the productivity of software engineers and the process of software release management.
What is release management?
In software development and IT operations, release management is a system for controlling the whole software delivery lifecycle.
It administers the stages involved in planning, scheduling, and managing software releases or builds, including everything from development and testing to deployment across diverse environments.
This is the standard process for both ITIL and DevOps services and solutions.
But, DevOps promotes greater transparency and collaboration throughout the whole delivery process, reducing feedback loops and promoting easier, quicker release management.
What are the types of release management?
1. DevOps release management
Many of the duties that used to fall within the purview of release management positions are now handled mostly by DevOps, but this does not lessen the value of release management.
Release management, a continuous process that works alongside development, fills the data gap in DevOps. Release management keeps track of applications and their constituent parts because DevOps streamlines the flow between delivery and operations.
This method suggests six (or more) stages for software development:
- Definition of the product specifications
- Using models and business plans to analyse
- Both exterior elements and product logic are included in product design.
- Writing program code
- Software testing and product defect inspection.
- Operations: product updates and operating system adoption.
2. ITIL release management.
A special kind of process for IT operations is ITIL.
You arrange and protect the integrity of fresh deployments for release management, from planning to release. After receiving the software developers’ code, the IT operations team chooses how or when to deploy the service.
While doing this, existing services’ uptime is preserved. Every ITIL team has its own operating style. Thus, the release management method is flexible.
3. Agile release management.
Major releases are not the main focus of agile release management, commonly referred to as agile release planning. Instead, you divide staged releases into a number of sprints or iterations.
Depending on their complexity or the makeup of your team, you can run multiple sprints at once. If a sprint finishes with a new product increment, a product release may not necessarily follow. Only the large ones will be let loose.
DevOps software release management best practices
● Establish the success criteria.
You can’t be subjective when setting the requirements for a successful software release. It will prevent the growth necessary to figure out what works best for your company and your development team.
Fast and stable releases will result from having coherent acceptance criteria (AC) for QA.
● Aim to decrease downtime.
Experienced product release managers are always striving to minimise downtime and customer impact. Real-time collaborative alerting, proactive testing, and active monitoring can find possible problems during the software release.
● Utilise staging environment.
A pre-production environment, called a staging environment, allows developers to closely monitor, test, and make necessary modifications to applications or software before moving them to the production environment.
Every collaborator, from testing experts to product owners, should run the test and examine the staging environment to look for any problems for the release to be successful.
● Count on automation to minimise human errors.
Automation is the secret to a successful release management strategy from DevOps services and solutions.
Anything that can increase the productivity of your staff, processes, and technology should always be automated.
Automation will streamline the process, reduce human error, and make daily operations simpler than ever when it comes to application or software or development, testing, or other IT operations.
● Focus on times of blackout.
A blackout period is a time period that has been set aside when companies refrain from deploying new features or capabilities into the production environment unless they are absolutely necessary.
For example, during the holiday shopping season. Additionally, some companies like to time their blackout periods to coincide with the fiscal year.
The benefits of release management for DevOps
● Align IT and business goals.
More than ever, the modern corporation is under pressure to add new features and increase consumer value. Businesses adopt an outside viewpoint to gain insights into the needs of their clients. To develop these functionalities, however, IT needs to have inside knowledge.
Between these two disparate points of view, release management serves as an essential link. So, to ensure that each release is as successful as possible, it coordinates IT efforts with business objectives.
● Reduce organisational risks
Millions of interrelated elements make up software products, greatly increasing the chance of failure. However, release management employs a number of tactics to reduce the chance of failure.
Before a client sees a serious flaw in the code, testing and governance can detect it. Plans for deployment make sure there are enough team members and resources available to resolve any potential difficulties before they have an impact on users.
● Direct accelerating change
It is doubtful that software delivery will ever stop accelerating at its current rate. The discipline and ability to consistently produce enterprise-quality software are built on release management. Moreover, the acceleration will only continue to grow as CI/CD adoption, and automation levels rise.
In environments utilising DevOps, software release management is crucial. Multiple new releases are made every day as a result of new methods for developing and publishing software.
A successful DevOps strategy requires you to coordinate and support the delivery team’s release efforts while streamlining the flow between delivery and operations.